Dartmouth Information, Technology and Consulting (ITC) is making Google’s G Suite for Education collaboration tools available to all students, faculty, and staff this week.
The G Suite services include Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Sites, which will be offered alongside Microsoft’s Office 365, currently in use at the College. Community members are free to choose which suite of tools works best for them, says Mitchel Davis, ITC vice president and chief information officer.
The work to integrate Google collaborative tools into Dartmouth’s technology infrastructure benefited from the leadership of Thayer School of Engineering, where G Suite has been in use for a number of years, says Susan Kelley, project lead for Google at Dartmouth. The Google offerings are in high demand among undergraduates, many of whom have used G Suite for Education throughout high school, she says.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer the service that people have been requesting. We are bringing to the community tools that a lot of people are already using with personal Google accounts. We want to make it available to the community so that we can use it together more easily,” Kelley says.
G Suite offers unlimited storage, an ad-free environment, enhanced security and privacy, and a familiar platform for finding and collaborating with Dartmouth colleagues, she says.
In February, ITC will launch an email pilot program that will allow people to opt in to a Gmail-based Dartmouth email account. The service will still show the @dartmouth.edu account name but will be based on a Gmail rather than a Microsoft Outlook platform. IT staff will examine issues of compatibility between Outlook and Gmail accounts as well as issues related to Outlook calendars. Dartmouth Gmail accounts are distinct from personal Gmail accounts. The results of the pilot will help ITC determine when and how broadly to offer opt-in email as part of the Google deployment, Kelley says.
Students and faculty can learn more about G Suite by visiting the ITC Google at Dartmouth website and can login by going to google.dartmouth.edu. ITC staff are available to work with academic and administrative departments to help them decide which service, Google or Microsoft, works better for them, Kelley says. ITC recommends that staff communicate with their department heads before deciding which platform to use.
William Platt can be reached at email@example.com.